After last years title triumph not many would have predicted such a fall from grace from Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid, but after 16 games they are effectively out of the title race, with a 13 point gap between them and Barcelona in first. Where has it all gone wrong for the special one?
Well it started in the summer, when the club decided not to strengthen the weak defensive area, and instead brought in two midfielders, Luka Modric, and Michael Essien, even thought they already had Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, and the now departed Lassana Diarra, and Nuri Sahin.
The move didn’t pay off especially when injuries ruled out Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo, and Alvaro Arbeloa for several matches this season, meaning Essien had to fill in at left back, and Sergio Ramos moved back to right back.
The weakness at the back has been exploited again, and again in the league, as well as in Europe, where Real Madrid failed to top their group, instead finishing 2nd behind Borussia Dortmund. A team that dropped only 14 points in the whole of last season has already dropped 15 in this campaign.
The latest being a 2-2 draw at home against 19th spot Espanyol, where they led 2-1 with five minutes to go, but once again the defence failed to clear, and after a goalmouth scramble, Juan Albin netted. The corresponding fixture last year finished 5-0 to the home side.
Its not just on the field that there has been problems, a number of rows off the pitch, has undermined the authority that Jose Mourinho now has at the club.
At the start off the season in a game with Deportivo la Coruna, although they were 3-1 up at half time, Mourinho was not happy, and decided to swap Ozil for Kaka, the result was one of the clubs captains Sergio Ramos wearing Ozil’s shirt underneath his own, in a show of support for the German.
The defender was quick to deny any rift with his manager, but many journalists saw it as an example that not is all golden behind closed doors at the club, and with many personalities to deal with, it seems Mourinho cant keep them all happy.
Further rifts with Castilla coach Tori, and even the fans, have left president Florentino Perez wondering if the Portuguese man is right to lead the club, and it is believed he is now running out of patience, despite recently giving him the dreaded vote of confidence.
A recent derby match with Atletico Madrid, saw Mourinho steal the show, as he took to the pitch alone before kick off so the fans could boo him, when he did appear there was a mixture of jeers and cheers, before his side managed a 2-0 victory over their rivals.
Only last week, Mourinho rowed with a Marca journalist after a press conference over speculation of rifts in the squad, which once again put the manager in the limelight for the wrong reasons, with some suggestions that he may be picking fights to hasten his exit from the club.
Rumours that PSG been in contact with the agent of ‘the special one’, with the French clubs rich owner Skeikh Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani stating that he would love to have Mourinho at the club.
However Mourinho has always suggested his next move would be back to England, but with no signs of Sir Alex Ferguson retiring, and Pep Guardiola first choice for Manchester City, there may be no choice, but to go to France.
The one thing that looks certain is that Mourinho, despite having a contract with Real Madrid 2014, will leave in the summer, but with the Champions league the only big trophy he can possibly aim for, he may be leaving after a disastrous season.
It would be a first, with the 49 year old usually leaving after a triumph, Porto after winning the Champions league, Inter Milan after a treble, and Chelsea only due to a row with owner Roman Abramovich, despite winning the league two years in a row.
With the draw for the last 16 pairing Real Madrid with Manchester United, even more pressure has been put on the shoulders of Mourinho, but who would bet against seeing ‘the special one’ leave after the Champions league final at Wembley in may.
It would just be typical Mourinho!